As I am going through a life change (selling a house, moving, buying a house), I have had time to reflect on my blog and think about what it is that I do and how I do it. Process is always an interesting factor to take into consideration because everyone has a unique way of doing things. So, I thought it might be interesting to document my process and answer some questions that have been asked of me over the years. I will be the first to admit that my process is not state of the art. Case in point: Look at how I organize my pictures:
I think I just heard a collective “OHMYGOD”. Yeah, I know…but whatever, it works!
How do I know which pictures I have used and not used?
I don’t know, I just do. I think because it was me walking the streets, critically analyzing what I encountered and then deciding if it was worthy or not to document. I just know.
What makes a sign worthy of being documented?
I can tell you what’s not worthy: signs that appear in every city (Starbucks, Target, Lowe’s, etc.). I don’t care about those signs. They say nothing about the culture of the city. Signs that I take special notice of are ones that have history or are unique to the city in some way. I love finding signs that incorporate either the city name or something that is specific to the city (like ‘Alamo’ in San Antonio). Since it is so time consuming transferring the pictures to my computer and naming all the files, I am very selective as to which ones are worth my time. I have found that over the last 4 years, I have become very picky as to what pictures get selected.
How long do posts take to put together?
Some posts take 30 minutes, but most take between an hour and 2 hours (crazy, right?!). I did that 5 days a week for 3.5 years. I never minded it, I actually looked forward to that time each day, it was my routine. With everything going on in my life right now, it wasn’t realistic to continue that pace at this time. I am looking forward to posting more regularly when I get settled.
I bet you can’t wait to go shopping on your trip!
No. I’m not that girl. I don’t do spa visits and I don’t shop. My trips are about my speaking engagement and then letterhunting. That is my bliss.
What is it with you and manhole covers?
I think they are beautiful for several reasons:
• They often times offer clues that are unique to the city, state or region.
• They usually possess intricate patterns for being so utilitarian.
• The typography has taken a beating from weather and traffic which creates interesting letterforms.
Who says something that is so mundane, can’t be designed well too?!
How do you come up with what pictures to pair and what to say about them?
In terms of the pairing, it is purely intuitive. For what I write, it comes from 15 years of having studied typography coupled with the way the sign makes me feel. It’s not a scientific process, it’s just my reaction to what I’m seeing.
What do you hope to do with this in the future?
I will continue posting regularly as I have found that it really helps me analyze typography in a different way. I hope to continue my speaking engagements because I really believe that if I don’t push myself to uncomfortable places, I won’t get better. Every single speaking engagement has been a learning process for me. I don’t get any less nervous (why do people think that?!), I always feel like I’m going to puke and I’m always filled with self-doubt. Going through all of this is worth it though because of the people I have met and the cities I have been able to go to. None of that would have been possible without this blog.
What’s your favorite city that you have visited?
This is a tough one for me as there is no easy answer. For graffiti? Miami. For grave yards? New Haven. For manhole covers? Albuquerque. For hand lettering? San Antonio. There is no one city that stands out as being THE BEST, they all have been equally rewarding for different reasons.
What’s your favorite drink?
Bloody Mary’s! Extra spicey with a pickle or several olives! *drool*